Best Buys review: ATI Radeon 9700Pro-based graphics cards

ATI Radeon 9700Pro-based cards

Sapphire Radeon 9700 Atlantis Pro Ultimate Edition

Description: If you're looking for great performance and the latest Direct X 9.0 support for upcoming games, but also want a very quiet card, then this one is definitely worth considering. It's very quiet - in fact it is silent - due to the fact that it has no cooling fans. Instead, the main graphics chip is cooled by a heat pipe structure that disperses any heat over two huge heatsinks situated on the front and back of the card. Each individual memory chip also has a small heatsink attached to it. This makes the card quite bulky and heavy.

The mounting bracket has connectivity for a standard VGA port in addition to a DVI port and a video port is also present for connection to a TV or video device.

128MB 256-bit DDR SDRAM is available onboard, providing up to 24GB of memory bandwidth. This memory gives the card the ability to display its wares on a huge monitor at resolutions up to 2048x1536x32-bit colour depth at 60Hz.

When installing the card, a supplemental power cord (provided) must be attached to the card.

Contents: The cabling required to get your card functioning at capacityl is provided and includes; a DVI to VGA adapter, S-Video and RCA cables (which can be connected via the supplied Y-cable).

Cyberlink's PowerDVD (for watching DVDs) is included, but no games software is bundled.

Driver features: ATI's Catalyst drivers can be used to tweak Open GL and Direct3D settings such as antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. The card also ships with a utility called Redline, that also allows the API settings (Open GL and Direct3D) to be configured for optimum performance with built-in profiles for popular games and applications. Overclocking of the main chip and the memory can be accomplished using this software, although this utility best reserved for experienced users.

Performance: While the cooling system does not employ a fan to disperse any heat generated, this card experienced no stability problems in testing, and produced better results than the GeForceFX 5800 Ultra-based Asus card in almost every test. It was slightly hotter than the GeForceFX-based cards and the Radeon 9800Pro-based card, crept up to 51 degrees during testing.

Target user: This card is ideal for a user who requires a quiet graphics card that can handle future Direct X 9.0 games, as well as providing excellent performance performance and image quality.

Vendor: Sapphire
Distributor: Achieva Technology Australia
Phone: (02) 9742 3288
Price: $729
URL: www.achieva.com.au

Test system
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2000+
Motherboard: Asus A7N8X
AGP mode: 8X
Memory: 2x 256MB Corsair PC3200 modules (in a dual channel configuration)
Hard drive: 120GB Western Digital Caviar WD 1200 Special Edition with 8MB cache
Hard drive interface: Parallel ATA


To view the complete list of our graphics cards reviews, check out the PC World test results table.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?